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Tourism award for Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way has won the Best Tourist Attraction at the third InBusiness Editor’s Choice Awards. A number of leading Irish companies and individuals were recognised at an awards ceremony in Dublin, to honour outstanding achievement in the Irish business community. All the winners were selected based on the broad criteria of growth, profile of business, range of services and customer care. The Government, via Fáilte Ireland, had provided for a significant investment of €10 million this year for the route (stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale) to bring it alive and boost its attraction for overseas visitors. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring said, ‘This award is the latest accolade for an initiative, which has proved to be a huge success to date. As someone from the west, I have seen first- hand the enthusiasm out there for this project and it’s not only amongst tourism businesses but also in the wider …

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Pauline heads Kilrush RNLI callout

Newly appointed lifeboat operations manager at Kilrush RNLI, Pauline Dunleavy, had her first callout in charge, when an alert was received on Sunday morning. The lifeboat was launched to reports that a plane flying overhead had observed an indication that a fire may have broken out in the cargo hold. In these circumstances it is standard procedure to launch the lifeboat and it gave Pauline a chance to see how fast the lifeboat can be launched and the response of the volunteers in times of emergency. The lifeboat was launched at 9.20am and kept a presence on the river before they learned that the flight, which was en route to France, had landed safely at Shannon Airport and they were stood down. Commenting on the callout, Pauline Dunleavy said, “During my first callout in this new role, it was great to see the lifeboat crew respond to an emergency from the other side. I had the opportunity to see the …

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Following the heritage trail at Loop Head

AT last week’s launch of the Loop Head Heritage Trail, Trea Heapes and Frances Bermingham unveiled details of their heritage audit of the three parishes that primarily make up the Loop Head Peninsula. Working in conjunction with the Heritage Council, they have come up with an 872-item inventory for the parishes of Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Kilballyowen. This audit was separate but complements the Loop Head Heritage Trail, which includes 18 attractions on the peninsula. Both will be used to help tourists experience Loop Head in some detail. “It’s an inventory of all items of heritage on the Loop Head Peninsula. You’re talking about nearly 90 townlands. In some townlands there isn’t even a house in it. That’s from Baltard, west of Doonbeg, down through Tullaher Bog, to Poulnasherry Bay and then west to Loop Head. There was mainly three parishes in the audit – Carrigaholt, Kilballyowen and Kilkee. About 400 odd of the 872 are recorded monuments,” Trea Heapes explained. …

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Brian Boru Crown returns to Killaloe

A new Brian Boru Millennium Crown, which is being used as part of a nationwide drive to raise thousands of euro for cancer research, was taken to the birthplace of its namesake this week. The crown, which is part of the Jewels for Cures cancer initiative, was transported from the Hunt Museum for a few stops at historical landmarks connected with Brian Boru in East Clare, by the brainchild of the charity drive, Alison McCormick. Ms McCormick had originally intended to auction the crown but then decided to donate it to the Irish people, as a gift to mark the commemorations marking 1,000 years since Brian Boru’s death at the Battle of Clontarf. This project raises funds for the Cancer Clinical Research Trust (CCRT), which was set up by Professor John Crown in 1997. Members of Killaloe Ballina Féile Brian Boru committee and the High King’s direct descendant, Lord Inchiquin, Conor O’Brien were present to mark this historic occasion at …

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Bringing a ray of sunshine to abused children

THE Clarecastle-born director of a charity, bringing hope to very young children in Kenya whose lives have been blighted by sexual abuse and prostitution, is appealing for people to help build a refuge for the children. Ray of Sunshine Foundation director, Olive Halpin, and patron, RTÉ’s Derek Davis, will launch the 2016 building project with a fundraising Festive Night of Food and Fashion in the Inn at Dromoland next week. Children in Kenya, who have been abused and some trafficked in the sex trade from as young as three years old, are relying on the charity to bring some light and hope into their darkness. “These children have been abandoned when they are of no more use to the people who abuse them and they are left deeply scarred, physically, emotionally and mentally, having experienced only the world’s ugliness,” Ms Halpin said. She added, “The Ray of Sunshine Foundation is working to show them beauty and a future. These beautiful …

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Tulla student called to the Somme battlefield

A TRANSITION-year student from Tulla has been chosen to represent his county in a research project that will see him visit the Somme battlefield in Northern France next summer. Nathan Peer was selected from entrants across Clare to represent the Banner County in the History Teachers Association of Ireland’s inaugural Adopt a WWI Soldier Project. The competition was open to students with an interest in history who were in either transition year or fifth year in the Republic of Ireland or in years 12/13 in Northern Ireland. The competition includes a research project between now and the summer and will culminate in a trip by 32 selected students from each county to the Somme battlefield in June 2015. The idea behind the project is that each student will “adopt” a soldier from his/her native county who died in the First World War. They will carry out research about the soldier through archival material and by talking with living relatives. When …

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Demand for SVP help up but income down

TWICE as many people are asking St Vincent de Paul (SVP) for assistance this year as did three years ago, while the society’s income has fallen by a quarter. Also, many people who used to help SVP at Christmas are now asking them for assistance, as falling salaries and State-imposed charges hit home. Clare area SVP president, John Cullinane, is appealing for last-minute public and corporate support in the run-up to Christmas. “We have our Christmas collection this weekend in Ennis. The church gate collection will get underway at vigil masses on Saturday and at all masses in Ennis churches on Sunday. We need it more than ever this year,” he said this week. “In the past three years, requests for our assistance have gone up by 104% and our income has gone down by about 25%. We have a lot of repeat people who make requests of us – probably 75% of our requests are from the same people …

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A record price for Doora property

A record price of €390,000 was achieved for a house and 13.6 acres at a public auction in Ennis this week. The house, located between the church and school in Deerpark, Doora, was the home of the late Fr Paddy Lynch. The house is set back some 350 metres from the road and is approached by a tree-lined avenue. Dating to the 1700s, it is a small period house and is need of refurbishment. Nevertheless, more than 35 parties viewed the house over the past five weeks and in excess of 60 people packed the Lemenagh Room in the Old Ground Hotel for the auction on Thursday afternoon. “Bidding opened at €200,000 and briskly reached €370,000 in €10,000 increments. Five further bids brought down the hammer at €390,000,” auctioneer, Paddy Darmody of Sherry FitzGerald MccMahon reported. “I have been with Sherry FitzGerald McMahon for more than 35 years and this house is unique in that it is a small country …

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